elliejane: storyteller girl (Default)
[personal profile] elliejane
I am continuing my irregular thing of transferring various fics of mine to my Lj. This was one posted to FarscapeFriday six years ago! I've left in the blurb I wrote back then, explaining how the fic came to be, as it was written for a specific challenge.

Title: Freefalling
Rating: NC-17 (not all of it is NC-17, though, just a segment of one section, sorry! Lol. The rest I'd say PG13)
Disclaimer: Always theirs, never mine.
Setting: Dipping into all four seasons of Farscape, and some time indeterminate. A touch AU here and there. Written before the PK Wars.
Summary: This is basically a John Crichton character study, from end to beginning.

Authors notes:
This was written for a FarscapeFriday challenge in September 04. I think the challenge was a follow up to "Write in the style of a published author", and it was to "Write in the style of a FAN FIC author." Fic writers were invited to put their names in the hat if they were ok with folks trying to mimic/parody/whatever their style.

I wasn't going to attempt this challenge. But then I saw Maayan, in a moment of madness, had put her name in the hat. And I love Maayan's fic. And although I didn't really think I could write in her style, I thought, perhaps I could write a fic which parallels one of my favourite of Maayan's fics, System of a Down. It has rather a nifty story structure, and I thought, even if I don't get a handle on Maayan's style, I can claim that the structure is the link!

It took me til a week later to realise that System of a Down is an SG1 fic - unless you are a Maayan/Stargate fan you most likely won't have read it.

I decided, in the end, to go ahead and post anyway. From my point of view, you should have read System of a Down, because some of it's phrases and scenarios are taken and twisted for a Farscape angle. But I think the whole thing stands on it's own as well, which is why I'm posting it here. I got some good responses in FarscapeFriday so I really hope it'll work as a standalone Farscape fic, regardless of it's genesis.



There's a dead man at his feet. And really, John thinks, it's just another body.


They are taking a vacation. Well, almost. It's a breezy backwater spaceport in the Uncharted Territories, not a pleasure planet. But as long as there are no Peacekeepers or Scarrens, it's good enough for them. There's a market. This time there'll be no drugs or rainbow feathered chicks. This time there will be shopping.

Pilot always recognises the signs when Moya starts feeling like a prison ship again. The crew have been getting a little stir crazy. They all have their own brands of sanity and some times the rough edges begin to rub a little raw.

Not everyone wants to go, but five of them take a transport down to the dusty surface. The port authority won't allow them to take the Prowler. It's not a big deal, they have the transport pod, but John still feels twitchy, and Aeryn lays a calming hand on his shoulder as they exit the transport.

These days, no one else really notices the tension in John's face and the tight edginess of his reactions. If John is both harder and a bit more brittle, they don't see it. It's a dichotomy he's learning to live with. The others have forgotten he hasn't always been this way.

They stay at a decent lodging house for the night, with cool sheets and heavy shutters to keep the dust out and the warmth in. Raucous voices echo faintly on the streets outside, but it's too cold for any real trouble. The chill in the air dissipates by morning and they head out with smiles and muscles that are a little less tense for now. They work their way through a market place that's only slightly disreputable.

A double sun filters through flapping awnings and the air is fresh today. John and Aeryn are strolling hand in hand, like a pair of twins in long leather dusters, with matching boots and reflexes. Aeryn looks for prowler parts. John looks for a new firing mechanism for Winona and a chocolate substitute. D'Argo watches over Chiana like a mother hen, while Rygel rides high amongst them both figuratively and literally.

They all buy fruits from loud vendors and a thick sweet paste that fluffs up like cotton candy when it touches moisture. They don't need these things, John tells them, but if this is a vacation, this is what they should buy. Rygel complains that nothing tastes like Earth candy, and John, for once, agrees with him.

Still, John squeezes the paste onto a finger and feeds it to Aeryn. He slides his finger against her wet tongue and watches her expression with glee, as the mixture fizzes and fluffs in her mouth before dissolving into crystals. She licks her lips with a grin. He loves her like this. He loves his kick-ass smiling girl.

The market is vast and they wander off from each other, after a while. Chi drags D'Argo off to a tent of exotic smells and crushed velvets. Rygel spots a stall dealing solely with imported victuals, and cruises nonchalantly over, a casual hand touching upon shiny crustaceans.

The crowds ebb and flow around them. John and Aeryn soon lose sight of the others and John rubs absent-mindedly at his comm.

The two of them end up wandering down to a stall with metallic objects that John identifies as old prowler components, and communications equipment. Aeryn picks through the assortment with a keen eye. John feels like he should be interested but he doesn't like the feel of this place. He hadn't realised how far they'd gotten from the main throng of the market.

Aeryn discards some defunct items, and talks earnestly with the trader. John picks up a random piece of metal and enjoys her serious expression for a moment.

Aeryn touches his arm and he pays attention.

"I'll just be at that stall." She points to the corner, where there are some more fluttering banners almost out of sight. "They have used prowler circuits."

"Okay." He's edgy. He can't keep her by his side all the time; she'd never stand for it. She's never needed a bodyguard. But he doesn't relax when she's out of his sight.

He's still doggedly fingering the metal curio, when a stirring of air makes him duck instinctively and a blow crashes onto his shoulder instead of his head. He drops heavily to his knees. A second blow catches him on the cheekbone. He looks up and focuses on a fearful looking proprietor standing motionless behind his merch. There had been several people milling about moments ago, but now the place is almost deserted. Two voices echo around his head.

"Looks like Peacekeeper, sure 'nuff."

There is a drugged up cackle from the other side. Arms haul at him, dragging his coat to one side, sliding clumsy hands into pockets, and tugging at holsters. John can feel the slight pricking of a knife.

"We got you good, fella, so no struggle. Got no squad wi' ya now."

The voice sounds raggedly in his ear. John can smell raslak. He processes the words through incipient concussion. Sorting through threats he's heard before and the voices that made them. They've all been scarier and with more purpose. It's almost laughable.

He lets himself fall back heavily, his weight taking the gripping forms with him. He kicks out, connects and rolls over in one smooth motion, and then it's him with the pulse pistol, buddy. Even if his vision is blurry. So much for a day of sunshine and candy kisses.

His attackers are grubby spaceport lowlifes, preying on those who wander away from the pack. If they weren't sky high, they'd have left a Peacekeeper well alone. Not that John is a Peacekeeper, of course. Out of the corner of his eye he sees the stall holder make a run for it.

"S'okay, s'okay." The grubbiest looking guy makes shushing motions with his knife hand. John keeps the pistol steady. Telling him it's okay is not what he considers a winning argument.

"So, you'll drop the knife, right? I mean, if everything's okay, you'll drop the knife?" John's voice is tight. Heavy on the sarcasm.

One man goes to lower his knife to the ground, then makes a foolhardy dive for John. John side steps, and grabs onto the man's knife arm and twists it taut. The bone breaks under the straining pressure. The man hits the dry muddy ground beside him with a dull thud. He's moaning.

His companion is realising that they have done a very stupid thing.

He starts backing away. But he still has a knife.

"Drop the knife." John is all for giving people choices.

The man staggers back. He's an amateur compared to John's past foes. John can pull his gun as fast, maybe faster than Aeryn. He didn't train for this life, he's lived it. He's lost and gained too much to leave it here.

John mutters softly under his breath, "Drop the knife, bozo, just drop the knife."

The man seems stunned, his addled brain taking time to figure this unexpected turn of events. In the end, John isn't sure if the man steps forwards, or if it's just a stumbling lack of coordination.

John has an itchy trigger finger. Winona has fired almost before he realises it. Almost.

The man hits the dirt in front of him. John stares down at him dispassionately. He nudges the man with his boot, but the lowlife scum is now dead lowlife scum. The dust soon settles.

Aeryn runs round the corner to find him holstering Winona. With her cheeks flushed, gun in hand and a smudge of oil on her cheek. Her eyes are fiercely alert. He reaches up affectionately to rub the smudge away with his thumb. Flags and awnings still flap light-heartedly in the background.

"Problem?" she asks, looking at the dead man.

"Not a one, " John says, as he steps over the body.


John Crichton remembers a time when it didn't hurt. And sometimes, he doesn't remember that it hurts at all.


John Crichton is hauling boxes around in the cargo bay, when D'Argo stops by for a chat. The big Luxan isn't entirely sure what he's supposed to talk about. Chiana had prodded him snippily till he'd agreed to have a go at some male bonding.

"Aeryn's here now," she'd said. "It can't be Aeryn that's the problem."

So, D'Argo is hovering awkwardly in the entrance, watching the transportation of boxes across the bay. John is focused, working up a slight sweat; he jumps a bit when he spots D'Argo loitering. He recovers himself quickly and the rhythm he's got going barely falters.

"May I talk with you, John?"

John shoots him a look and picks up another crate, swinging it around energetically. "Sure, man. Have yourself a seat."

D'Argo looks around and gingerly sits himself down on a nearby upturned crate. The metal squeaks a little but holds the Luxan bulk solidly enough.

"Uh. Need any help?" D'Argo tries to figure out what cargo it is that needs shifting.

John eyes him with amusement. "Nope, I'm cool. Gotta keep busy." His footsteps are a muted thud against the deck, as he deposits another load. His eyes narrow a little on the return journey.

"C'mon, D. Out with it."

"Um. Chiana. She's worried."

"What about?"

"About you."

"Oh. Ok."

Crichton continues to haul boxes. D'Argo sits on his one, somewhat non-plussed.

"Er, Crichton?"


"Right. Well, she thinks you've been acting...odd."

"No kidding?"

"Yes. And well, there's the thing with you ignoring Aeryn." There is a falter now, just the slightest falter, in the tempo of footsteps and thudding crates.

"Not ignoring her, D." John shrugs a heavy crate laden shrug. "She went, she came back. She went, she came back. A man can only take so much before it gets a little old."


"Absence doesn't always make the heart get fonder, D. Sometime it...stops the heart all together."

The crate drops heavily to the deck, a metallic echo that makes D'Argo jump. John pushes it squeakily across the last few denches. And stands for a moment just breathing.

D'Argo tries again. "So. Ok. Is it Scorpius?"

John laugh is a touch brittle. "Oh yeah. My heart's beating all sorts of wild for that boy."

D'Argo looks down at his feet and grunts. "Chiana said it couldn't be Aeryn. Aeryn's come back. But you are not with her. You are still in pain, John. Aeryn loves you. And you are both in pain while you are apart."

There is now a neat pile over on the right side of the bay and John stands back admiring his handiwork. D'Argo looks up. He frowns as something strikes him as odd.

Before he can open his mouth, John brushes his hands clean in satisfaction.

"Right. All done and time for dinner. Hey D, thanks for the ear, appreciate it."

And he slaps D'Argo vigorously on the shoulder, as he makes tracks out of the door at speed.

D'Argo looks after him, puzzled. He takes a few steps over to the nearest box. The lid of the metal container screeches and makes him wince. The content makes his jaw drop and then slowly close.

It's empty. John Crichton has spent what must be over an arn hauling empty cargo containers from one side of the bay to the other. Just how busy does Crichton have to keep himself?

D'Argo shakes his head slowly.

Everything was supposed to be all right when Aeryn came back.


John Crichton counts the days on his fingers. After a while he has to count the months as well.


"It's not so much that she's not here," D'Argo tells Chiana. "It's that she's there. With the other him."

They find him on LoMo, drunk and disorderly. He's been frelled over by some feathered female, drugged up and liquored up. D'Argo gathers him up like a precious bundle, cuddling him close as he strides back to the transport.

He manfully says nothing about his sadly abused Luxan olfactory system. John reeks of a mixture of intoxicants and possibly vomit. When they get to Moya, Jool wants to space his clothes.

But first they have to get them off him. He is uncoordinated and ham-fisted. When he lands himself on his ass just trying to get the zipper down, it's obvious one of them has to get him naked. D'Argo makes harrumphing noises and Jool holds her nose with her fingers.

Chiana sighs. She waves the others out of Crichton's quarters. She surveys the wreckage of the human as she steers him to the shower cubicle.

Chi is gentle with him. She peels the soiled clothes away, stained with every colour this side of the rainbow. Lets him stand owl-eyed and motionless as she tugs the leathers down leanly muscled legs. He's lost a lot of weight, what with Aeryn being gone. He doesn't eat much and he pounds the tiers at night, when he isn't drunk in the maintenance bay. There isn't much protein in the liquor.

When Chiana slips her fingers under the waist of his under shorts she feels the minute shudder that goes through him and he fumblingly tries to stop her. She goes ahead and tugs them off anyway, and is greedy enough that she doesn't look away. The man may be a wreck but she's not sparing his sensibilities when she needs to get him clean. It won't kill him if she looks.

She strips down to her underwear, after she strips him. And if his eyes widen and his lip quirks the very corner of his mouth, well, that's a good thing. At least the man's awake.

Chiana takes the shower head in one hand and carefully washes him down with lukewarm water and a soapy cloth. Methodically letting the water splash over his sticky skin, rubbing the cloth over his torso, and chasing the soap suds over the prominent ridges of his ribs.

Then she moves round to his back, and lets herself enjoy the feel of the broad shoulders under the warm cloth. Chiana can feel the knotted muscles and the strain there. She digs in, small but strong fingers kneading through the tightness and the tension, till she hears a small sigh escape his mouth. She watches the water sluice down his back, carrying bubbly lather over the curve of his ass before running rivulets down his legs.

Crichton has barely moved a muscle. He seems resigned to letting her have her way with him and his stance seems to be a little looser. Chiana wonders what he was looking for down on Lomo. Was he actually trying to forget, or just looking for something he couldn't have at home? Something he hadn't had in a long, long time?

She trails her fingers lightly down his inner thigh, at first. Testing the waters, as such. He's never let her get this close before. He lets out a huffing breath. When she directs the water stream at the tops of his thighs, then moves it to splash between his legs, he shifts his weight a little.

Chiana debates for a moment, but decides it has to be done, even if he tries to wriggle out. Who knows where that thing has been over the last coupla days?

Chi lathers up the wash cloth again. She curls her palm around his cock, letting the water play over, around, under. John is startled and he tries to pulls her soapy hands away – she slaps his hands back impatiently. She doesn't let him stop her soaping him up thoroughly. She slides slick fingers under his balls and into crevices, and then slowly rinses most of the bubbles away. By the time she's got him clean enough for a girl's satisfaction, he's half erect.

Chi lays her cheek against his thigh and rubs gently, then glances up at his face. He looks down, lip being bitten between his teeth.

"Ch'ana..." His voice is still a bit slurry, but he's conscious in there.

"Hey. Let me give you something back. Just this one thing, Crichton." He wants what he can't have so much, that he might not take what she's offering.

"Chi, I don'..."

"S'alright, honest," She murmurs, lips against his cock, nuzzling and she can feel the shudder against her mouth.

One last look is slanted under wet lashes, confused and slightly rebellious before he gives in.

Her touch is still soft, as she slides her hand up. Slides her mouth down. It's so long since a loving touch coiled round his cock that he almost can't parse the sensation and his legs buckle and give way. He ends up an awkward heap of wet human, with the light of humiliation in his eyes.

"Sorry, Chi. Gettin' frelled in th' fine print again." It's almost a joke, he's said it before, but this time it smacks of failure not bravado.

She's not having that, though. Granted, she's always wanted to get her mouth on him, but this is for him, this thing that she's doing. She ducks her head down before he can think about pulling her off. Laps at the erection that has slackened a little and firms him up with her tongue.

He groans and gasps, and his head falls back to thump against the shower wall. She sucks him deeper because she wants to keep the sensation keen and hot. Just because she's not Aeryn doesn't mean this can't be good.

"Please. Please, Chi."

Chiana pets John's thigh, awkward with pity. She doesn't want to pity John. She wants him strong and laughing and fending her off as she tries to feel him up again. This John doesn't even know what he's begging for. There are too many things in the way. Things like bitterness, anger, fear, wariness, distraction. She's pretty sure he isn't begging for her, when he says her name.

"I'll give you gettin' frelled," she mutters heatedly against his flesh, slipping her palm around his balls, before sliding down again. She wants him to remember how good and warm it all feels. She wants him to remember somebody loves him, and this is still the best way she knows how.

When he comes it's with a loud shout, an Earth curse word, and in her mouth. One hand clenches convulsively in her hair and she's strung a little tight herself. As he shudders and comes down, she rocks absently against his thigh.

And he's still a gentleman, under the grime she washed off, because his hand slides clumsily up her leg. Chi grips his fingers and tugs upwards, rocks herself against his rough knuckles. Bites her lip against the feel of John Crichton's hand between her legs.

She lets herself come from the uneven friction. She wants something for herself, something to remember when Aeryn comes back. If Aeryn comes back.

As she shivers with the aftershocks, John pulls her close and she sits in his lap, burrows in, eager for the heat of him

"Thanks, Chi." John sighs, his cheek warm against her skin. His hair brushes against her face. He hasn't turned away, with tears in his red rimmed eyes. She's pleased. She knows she wasn't one he saw against his closed lids when he came, but she'd rather not have regrets on either side. John Crichton seems to need Aeryn Sun like he needs to breathe, like his lungs forget how to inhale and exhale on their own. Chiana's needs are simpler.

She nuzzles him a little and hums under her breath. It's like she's crooning the wet blue-eyed boy a lullaby.


John Crichton isn't sure who he is anymore.


They all watch John. Warily, vigilantly, reluctantly. They watch him, together, separately, in shifts; like policemen watching a suspect who might bolt for the hills any moment.

When D'Argo finds John talking to himself, on different occasions, he throws an arm around him too heavily and laughs at things that aren't the remotest bit funny. When John looks at him suspiciously, he coughs and mumbles and asks if he's seen Chiana. Or Rygel. Or his Qualta blade.

This time it's the weapon that has apparently gone missing

"A man should always know where his Qualta blade is," says John wildly. Then he ducks out from under the brotherly love with an agile wiggle, and makes off down the tier like a man possessed. D'Argo glowers after him.

Even Rygel sometimes hovers diffidently just out of earshot and eye line. Though he doubts the human would hear a herd of Keedva behind him, muttering to himself as he does in his more lunatic moments, hand flailing urgently at his ear.

Aeryn Sun, when she doesn't want to leave Crichton alone, tracks him down corridors and herds him to the maintenance bay. She knows that if he sees her looking he'll make that extra effort to control his hands. She sees a desperate look in his eyes at times. She wishes things were better resolved between them, because then she could watch him at night.

But she's gotten as good as Chiana at skulking and he hasn't spotted her frequent excursions past his quarters yet.

Tonight, though, as she pads barefoot to the doorway, she can't hear the restless tossing about that signifies Crichton's disturbed sleeping pattern. She edges closer and puts her hand against the bars. She can see him sitting up, legs over the side of the bed. Not doing anything. She tries to peer in closer, but her movement catches his eye. She tries to look as if she isn't here on purpose.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm...never better." There's a thread of a crack in his voice that should mean something to her, she's sure, but she doesn't know what.

"Good, then."

His silhouette is unnaturally still as he watches her, watching him.

"Wanna come in?"

His teeth gleam white in the faint light and she shudders, suddenly. Maybe she'll go back to her quarters after all.


John Crichton is screaming. Out loud.


Really, that's all there is to it.

John Crichton in a chair and Scorpius, dressed like some Halloween goon, trying to squeeze his brain out through his ears. John is the 'Show and Tell' for Torture 101. He's all kinds of sea sick, and air sick, and sick as a dog.

He's doing this for someone, John thinks; that is, he doesn't think, he mustn't think. He's doing it for Aeryn, for Gilina, for everyone. Because it's a matter of prosaic fact that they can't do this. They can't be in this uniform, can't be him.

Who ever he is supposed to be. And he is screaming.


John Crichton is screaming. On the inside.


They talk about him when he's not there. Heck, they'd talk when he was there except Zhaan is too polite.

"Looks like a Peacekeeper, acts like a drannit." Ka D'Argo is not one to pull his punches.

"It could be worse." Rygel is floating lazily in the sled. "It could be 'Looks like a Peacekeeper, acts like a Peacekeeper." Of course, he isn't defending Crichton. He's baiting Aeryn Sun.

The Peacekeeper is, as predicted, on her feet in a heartbeat, planting her hands furiously on the table top.

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"Means what it says."

Aeryn makes a wild arching grab for the Dominar but he is totally prepared and motors on up towards the ceiling.

"Little runt! You just wait..."

"Please, please..." Zhaan waves her hand peaceably. "We gain nothing by squabbling amongst ourselves."

Aeryn arrows an annoyed glance at the priest. "Speak for yourself. Now, if I could just get my hands on that Hynerian nuisance..."

D'Argo is getting a little pissed that they have gotten off topic. He's started pacing purposefully.

"We are not here to talk about you! Or his 'Eminence'!"

Rygel nods regally from his eyrie, as the sarcasm totally misses its mark.

The Luxan resumes his rant.

"Crichton is who we are discussing. He is clearly deficient. And an idiot. He can barely see, barely hear, he cannot fight, and he is much too trusting." D'Argo glares at a defiant Aeryn. "He is a liability and we will leave him at the next available commerce planet!"

Zhaan almost looks as if she is considering this but then she sighs. "Ka D'Argo, you cannot seriously be thinking of abandoning the human." She coughs politely. "Not that it is your decision to make."

"Why not leave him?! He is worse than an infant. Incompetent. He wanders around looking so...frelling awed. AND he never shuts up. It's always questions, questions, questions."

"D'Argo, if you are right and he is a mere infant – you would abandon an innocent child amongst strangers; vulnerable and with no means to protect itself? A child of yours, perhaps?"

D'Argo halts in the pacing and turns to face Zhaan, all whirling tankas and horrified expression.

His mouth works for a moment. Then snaps shut. "Fine. We will keep him. But keep him out of my way." And he storms out of the chamber, a flurry of indignant braids and outrage.

Zhaan looks at Aeryn.

"You will not harm the human?"

Aeryn shrugs. "I have no reason to. Yet. " She pushes herself away from the worktop where she was propped, and walks out, head held high. Then stops just outside the door.

She's wondering if she should go back and tell the Delvian that if they keep the human, she will teach him how to fight.

Then a scuffing foot and an inhalation catch her attraction and she has Crichton up against the wall looking down the business end of her pulse pistol before he can draw a second breath.

They are frozen for a moment, and John Crichton has it underlined for the fiftieth time that he is somewhere very alien. A current of desperation bubbles under the awe. This particular breathtaking alien makes an irritated sound and pushes away from him. He buckles down and tries for a disarming smile.

"Guess I'm not Mister Popular in there."

She frowns as the concept eludes her but the word popular translates.

"Just keep watching your back, human."

Her eyes travel up and down his body, assessing if she could turn this unprepossessing person into some kind of warrior. Her eyes linger slightly between his legs. He is the only one she'd consider frelling on this ship. She's wondering if she would really go that far.

"Watch your front as well," she says abruptly. Her footsteps make emphatic thudding sounds all the way down the corridor and John squints as he tries not to watch her ass. She's way to deadly for him to watch her ass. Way too alien. John feels way too alone.

He leans back against the bulkhead. He turns his head towards the command chamber where Zhaan is attempting to advise Rygel on keeping his skin intact.

What a choice, John thinks – the fugitives either want to dump him out the air lock in the back of beyond, or keep him chained up like a pet.

He slides down the wall, and sits propped up, like a little lost boy in a mall. Dad and home are a very long way away. Earth is almost a dream.

He puts his head on his knees. It can't get any worse.


It began on the surface of a planet called Earth. But it's not going to end there. John Crichton has a lot further down to fall.

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elliejane: storyteller girl (Default)

February 2014


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